Goya Champuru (Bitter Melon Stir Fry)


This is a traditional Okinawan dish with Asian bitter melon. I was introduced to it during my time there. I've combined a few different recipes into this one here. You can also add Spam®; it's pretty popular on Okinawa. Please note that the bitter melon has a very different taste, but its very good once you get used to it. It's also ridiculously healthy.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
4 servings


  • 2 Asian bitter melon (goya)

  • kosher salt as needed

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 (1 pound) pork loin, cut into pieces

  • 1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste

  • 1 pinch garlic pepper, or to taste

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste


  1. Cut tips off melons with a sharp knife; cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out white interior and seeds with a spoon. Rinse the melon and cut into very small pieces. Place in a bowl and generously add kosher salt, mixing until melon is completely covered. Cover and refrigerate until flavors combine, 3 to 4 hours.

  2. Rinse melon to remove excess salt. Place into a pot and cover with room temperature or cool water; cover and bring to a boil. Cook until melon has softened slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; drain the melon.

  3. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; season with garlic salt and garlic pepper. Stir-fry just until the pink on the surface of the pork disappears, 3 to 4 minutes. Add melon and stir fry until soft, about 2 minutes more.

  4. Reduce heat to medium. Push pork mixture to the edges of the skillet with a spatula. Crack eggs into the center of the skillet; scramble until firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir contents of the skillet together until combined. Season with soy sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

259 Calories
16g Fat
5g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 259
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 540mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 96mg 479%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 329mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.